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Minister Petříček met with North Macedonian foreign minister Dimitrov
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Minister Petříček met with North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Dimitrov


Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček met with the North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov on Wednesday, 26 February 2020. One of the topics of the meeting was foreign policy cooperation, especially the issue of North Macedonia’s membership in the European Union and NATO. The meeting also covered closer cooperation in the areas of trade, culture and education as well as exchange of support in candidacy to UN bodies.

“One of the priorities of Czech foreign policy is the integration of the Western Balkan countries into the EU,” said Minister Petříček. “I am convinced that this process will bring not only prosperity but also stability for the whole region. The fact that the EU Member States did not find a consensus in October to start accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania was a major disappointment for me.”

The leaders of both countries also discussed the question of North Macedonia’s NATO membership. “After signing the protocol on the accession of North Macedonia to NATO in February 2019, North Macedonia is already attending almost all formal and informal meetings of the alliance,” the Czech foreign minister added. “We particularly appreciate the cooperation during operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo. NATO membership will strengthen the stability of the entire Western Balkans region.”

In addition to foreign policy issues, the ministers also addressed matters of economic cooperation. Trade between the two countries has considerable potential. The Czech Republic’s exports to North Macedonia increased by more than 20% between 2018 and 2019. In the interest of strengthening trade between the two countries, we want to use the platforms of the Joint Committee on Bilateral Economic Cooperation, which should take place in Prague in 2021.

Another topic of discussion was the election of members of the International Law Commission to be held at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in autumn 2021 in New York. “The Czech Republic submits the candidacy of Professor Pavel Šturma, who was first elected in 2011 and then re-elected in 2016,” Minister Petříček said. “The Czech Republic is currently a member of the UN Human Rights Council and the protection and support of human rights is one of the priorities of Czech foreign policy.”

The meeting also touched on cooperation in the field of culture and education, where both countries eagerly exchange places at their summer schools on an annual and reciprocal basis.